Thursday, January 10, 2013


Is There an Opportunity?
 By Kirill Pashkov

The Knesset elections were supposed to commence on 22 of October 2013, but by the decision of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, they have been scheduled earlier to 22 of January 2013.
These will be the nineteenth Knesset elections within the sixty-five years of Israel's existence.
The social and political situation in the country is quite problematic, issues of which include taxes, cost of products, education, and medical care. A number of everyday Israelis have voiced their particular concerns and perspectives on the upcoming elections, giving voice to the problems that worry them most.

Daniel, a student of Tel Aviv University studying in sociology and history faculty,
Doesn’t see any reason to believe what politicians say.
"The only thing that they are actually worried about is their career and place in Knesset. All the rest is meaningless."

He continues, "Bibi wants to keep us frightened; they press us by always talking about war and outside aggression, so we can forget about country's inner problems, like the harsh confrontation between the Haredim and the secularized society, taxes, failure of educational system, and so on.
These elections can be easily predicted. Bibi will win, everything will stay the same. And this same will destroy our country from the inside.
Daniel recognizes that it is his civic duty to vote, yet his lack of faith in the system prevents him from fulfilling this right as an Israeli citizen.

Tomer, a man who works in the cafeteria in central Tel Aviv, has a different perspective on this question. He addresses the difficulty of everyday life in Israel, being that it is a very expensive country, taxes are too high, and it is very problematic to find a suitable place to live and still be able to save money for some personal needs. He is also sure that nothing is going to change in inner economical and social politics, but he will vote for Netanyahu, vowing that now ⌠is not the right time for new faces. Our country is in a serious danger and we need a man with experience, who can rule our country with confidence, like Bibi. Yes, lots of people hate him, but he is the best option for now. The Arab countries won't deal with us and take us seriously if there would be a new Israeli leader. I want to be sure in my safety, and that is why I am voting for Netanyahu. And this is what many others think as well. The social sphere can wait a little."

One man, who preferred to stay anonymous, owns a small network of sandwich bars. As a businessman, he judges the situation from a completely different angle, as he deals with taxes and city administration on a higher level than other people.
He finds elections as a simple act of wasting words. "Waiting for changes to come from elections and politicians is as foolish and naive, as to wait for the Messiah to appear in Jerusalem and go through the Golden Gates. The only thing that can affect our society and to keep our state alive is revolution like last year, but more serious and productive. Last year we've almost made it, but we stopped protesting when government promised us changes. We believed and this was a big mistake. We forced them to give us a promise, but we didn't force them to accomplish it the right away. He feels that it will only be a short while until Israeli citizens lose their democratic rights, likening an outcome akin to the status of Russia.
⌠I am not going to vote, because we simply don't have a rational option and a candidate to support. Left-wing, right-wing: they all promise to stabilize taxes, but in the end they do nothing at all, minding their place in Knesset. And the corruption┘ It's worse here compared to Russia, because there politicians don't hide the fact that they are stealing. In Israel everyone is hiding their goods and they never stop lying to us about it.
He ends his criticism by re-evaluating the concept of national pride: I love my country, I am proud of it, but the real patriot is the one who can see both positive and negative sides in his country."

In all, the one and a half million people who had been protesting last year in the sake of their lives and rights comprise the most serious political power in the country. The biggest problem is that they are not integrated, do not have a unifying leader, and there is still a hesitation of the masses between satisfying needs of social and economical life versus questions of security and defence. Haredim lean toward Benjamin Netanyahu since his government supports Yeshivas and religious inner politics, including support of Settlers. Russian electorate in Israel is also up to Netanyahu. The rest, ranging between one and a half to two million people, either don't vote at all due to political apathy, or vote almost surely for Bibi, since it is the easiest decision among other unfavourable options given the Israeli political climate.